ASIAdocument.write(“” + m[today.getMonth()+1]+ ” “+ today.getDate()+”, ” + theYear + ” “);HOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperChina Daily Global PDFChina Daily Global E-paperChina / Cover StoryTop NewsPoliticsSocietyBusinessCover StoryScience/TechPeoplePhotosMetro BeijingRegionalExpats seek breath of fresh air outside big, smoggy citiesBy Zhang Yuchen(China Daily) Updated:2014-04-11 07:17Comments Print Mail Large Medium Small Ma Xuejing / CHINA DAILY As pollution lowers quality of life for many foreigners, smaller or coastal cities are becoming a magnet thanks to a good environment, reports Zhang YuchenAs the Air Quality Index is used more often as a quality of life measurement in some Chinese cities, many expatriates are considering their options.The air pollution that affects many cities is turning top executives from foreign companies away from the country, according to a Reuters report that cited the results of a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce.Some 48 percent of the 365 foreign companies that responded said their executives were unwilling to relocate to China because of the poor air quality.”Many CEOs from foreign firms have expressed their concerns about air pollution. Obviously, its their big concern now,” Fran Fremont-Smith, executive director of the United Foundation for Chinas Health, said at a conference hosted by the Austrian embassy in Beijing.However, while the high levels of pollution have undoubtedly led to a minor exodus of expats, others are shunning the larger cities and have opted for smaller places with a healthier environment.
In a 2013 interview with China Central Television, Briton Jason Pym spoke about his work creating a detailed map of the old town in Dali, a city in Yunnan province. The map was a labor of love for the graphic artist, who produced it as a way of cementing his memories of a city to which he feels strongly attached.”Most people I know have been here (in Dali) for a few years. The air pollution has been getting more and more serious, but has only hit the news as a major problem in the last year or two, I guess,” he said.Pym, from Hertfordshire in the UK, and his Chinese wife Cecilia, have been part of the southwestern citys multinational expat community for 10 years. The net of nationalities has been cast wide, and the long-standing foreign presence includes natives of the UK, the US, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Australia, Germany and France.Many of the expats in Dali have families, and thats one of the citys big draws. Its a great place to raise children, according to Pym, who has a young, Chinese-born son. Because the city is surrounded by lakes, forests and mountains, the area teems with wildlife. On weekends, Pym takes his family to the local hot spring or a swimming pool. “Having a kid helps, because you tend to spend time with other parents, and regardless of whether youre Chinese from Shanghai or Australian from Melbourne, peoples reasons for coming to Dali are all pretty much the same,” he said.Before moving to Dali, Pym lived in Shanghai for five years. “I loved living in cities when I was in my 20s, but as I got older (hes now 40) my tastes changed. I like living in a place where I can go for a walk in the woods five minutes from my house,” said Pym, who studied Chinese at Leeds University in the UK.On Sept 13, the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration released the World Migration Report 2013, which stated that there were more than 680,000 foreigners living in China in 2011, a rise of 35 percent from 10 years before.Both Beijing and Shanghai have resident expat populations of about 100,000.Heading for the coastMany expats who leave Beijing to relocate in China opt to move to coastal cities, such as Xiamen in Fujian province or Shenzhen in Guangdong, which are bustling regional centers, but have fewer environmental problems than the major inland centers, according to a report by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.Smaller, second-tier cities, such as Changsha in Hunan province, which has an expat community of about 2,000, and the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, which plays host to about 6,000 foreigners, gained few mentions in the report, even though life in these places can be colorful and vibrant.Tom Strand, a UK native who lives in the Shapingba district of Chongqing, said he hadnt heard of any new expat arrivals who had fled Beijing or Shanghai specifically because of the air pollution. The 20-something, who is opening an agency to sell and distribute British beers, regularly travels around China on business.The Ministry of Environmental Protection recently released a list detailing the air quality in 74 cities across China in 2013. For the entire year, only three cities – Haikou in Hainan province, Lhasa in the Tibet autonomous region, and Zhoushan in Zhejiang province – met the standards set for PM 2.5 and ozone set by the State Council in 2012.The revised standards consider the safe level for PM2.5 – particularly harmful airborne pollutants smaller than 2.5 micrometers, which can penetrate the lungs and enter the bloodstream – to be 35 micrograms per cubic meter.In contrast, the average PM 2.5 reading for Beijing in 2013 was 89.5 mcg per cu m, according to a media release from the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.Previous Page1 2 Next PagePrevious Page1 2 Next Page8.03KPhotoNight views of Harbin through the lensTibetans take train home after pilgrimage or travellingWorlds largest shaftless Ferris wheel built in ChinaAncient cities to be connected by Xian-Chengdu high-speed railwaySnow turns Harbin into winter wonderlandReed Catkin Festival held in WuhanSocietyPoliticsHot TopicsScience/TechBusinessCover StoryFTZ simplifies process to launch businessesJapan can offer experience, expat saysApplication for work streamlinedAwareness of law aids resolutionAir Force units explore new airspaceLow wages and lack of respect responsible for kindergarten abuse, experts sayLiu heralds UK partnership in education and researchAgency ensuring natural gas supplyUN envoys trip to DPRK praised by BeijingChina moves to secure natural gas supply amid rising winter demandXi asks China, Canada to work for substantial tiesCooperation necessary for success, leaders sayLiving in space: How astronauts train, eat and workTeachers excused for lunchtime drinksWaiting for Shenzhou XICancer agent found in 44 cities drinking waterAt Ikea eatery, its no pay, no stayChina lose 2-0 to Uzbekistan in World Cup qualifier, coach Gao resignsC919 gains another 55 orders, lifting total orders to 785Services offset dip in manufacturingFintech to energize real economy, cut risksChinas Long March rockets complete 60 commercial launchesEngineers achieve breakthroughChina-made components add securityOnline shopping rings up customer complaintsImport expo to focus on advanced techSME mobile market platform receives first clientsChina top importer of US soybeansAir China opens direct route from Beijing to BarcelonaInsurance-based trust launchedDandelion helping to sow the seeds of stability for membersCover storyVisa change may boost tourism to USThe wrong side of the roadBuilding ban begins to biteVillagers call on Japan to atone for massacreMost ViewedTodays Top NewsMore female officials caught in corruptionWhampoa veterans recorded with gloryPolice bust 9 terrorist groups in XinjiangKnife-wielding attackers seized in XinjiangNew regulation leads to drop in petitioned casesHunan plant shut as probe into lead poisoning beginsPolice boost efforts to combat gamblingProject offers jobs openings to legal expertsExperts: Dog meat festival illegalNation looks to upgradepipeline networksSquare dancing in Russias most famous square. And a family suspects a man who drowned in a fishing pond after police released him was tortured.HighlightsTaking a leaf out of the book of natureFans cup runneth overXinjiang gets up to speedChinas West Point a beaconHot TopicsDog meat festivalXinjiang attackersHagibisLead poisoningDeath penaltiesEnvironmental graftSpace travelCrackdown on cultsComfort womenhukouSpecialCrackdown on terrorist attacksSpecial: College candidates face ultimate test…| About China Daily | Advertise on Site | Contact Us | Job Offer |Copyright 1995 -. All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.License for publishing multimedia online 0108263 Registration Number: 130349